Perspective and Predictability

Written on

March 20, 2020

The sunset Wednesday night was beautiful. It seemed to streak across the entire sky. The opaque oranges and powder pinks found reflections on the cotton candy clouds in the east as the blazing, bright orange sun sunk into the horizon in the west. It seemed surreal.

There’s a lot that seems surreal these days.

A neighbor friend and I loudly conversed across our backyards this afternoon. We kept far more than the government suggested distance of 6 feet. Before we departed ways and disappeared back into our houses, she commented how this all seems like a really strange dream.

I get that. Life feels like that place between good deep sleep, where you don’t remember anything, and almost awake, where you’re aware that the kids and dogs are stirring but your body just doesn’t want to wake up yet. You know you’re dreaming, but you’re powerless to do anything about it. You wake wondering how it would all end or if it was really reality at all.

It’s been 8 days since the girls were sent home from school early. Today, we learned that they won’t return to their classrooms until -at least- May 4. The preschool I direct is closing for April too and the future seems even more unsure tonight than it did a week ago. I thought a week’s worth of time would’ve brought perspective and some predictability . . .

But, then again, who’s to say it hasn’t . . .

I am an “expectations” kinda gal and find a lot of security in knowing what to expect and when to expect it. Indefinite postponements don’t sit well with me. I feel like it is a need of mine to envision the future when all I really need is my perspective fixed on things above.

This is a real struggle for me right now.

I don’t know how many times I have said, “I don’t know” in response to my daughters’ questions about everything from “How will we celebrate my birthday?” to “When can I eat again?”. There is SO much that I am forced to recognize that I really don’t know.

Where do I go to get the answers?

I know the “Sunday school answer,” but that is never really the first place I go.

My social media feeds and the news stations on tv are full of “helpful” information and “necessary” facts. After no more than 10 minutes, I can feel my chest starting to tighten under all that weight. The pressures to know and to do and not do literally make me anxious. Am I doing “it” right? Should I be doing “it” at all? Then I circle back around to face the truth that I really don’t know . . . and I am right back where I started from.

Then the Spirit reminds me that I started today in God’s Word and He kept His promise to allow me to find Him when I sought Him with all my heart. He has intentionally put little reminders all through my day to show me that this world is bigger than me and He is at work in ways that are higher than my understanding.

For example, that sunset the other night. In its breathtaking beauty, I saw His majesty and was reminded He is still on His throne. In the daffodils I cut from my yard, I observe that I am enjoying beauty that I did not plant, cultivate or cause to grow. In a bunch of other little signs of spring, quietly creeping up in the outside yard around my house, I see where He is still providing for the birds and the squirrels and that blasted mole that burrows in our front. I know He is still present and providing for me too. There is a lot of predictability just out my literal front door.

I just have to be intentional to turn off the tv, step away from the laptop, open that front door and breathe Him in. Take that full minute to watch the birds flit in and out of the tree. Pause to admire the intricate, delicate details in the flowering bud. Be still to watch the clouds glide across the sky.

The weather here in Middle Tennessee has been incredibly gray and wet and yucky this week. I haven’t wanted to go outside. Today however, there was a break in the rain. The temperature felt nice even without a jacket and none of us minded the whipping wind as we spent a little time blowing bubbles, riding bikes and bumping a half-inflated ball back and forth on the driveway. It was great. I was outside my little four walls, literally and figuratively. It was then I cut my flowers. . . My perspective was re-set and back on the One who deserves all my time and attention and perspective.

Then I came back inside. Then the rain began again. Then I got the call about school being closed and then a bunch of other calls about what that all meant at my job. Then the weight on my chest seemed heavier than ever.

Then . .

In the middle of trying to write a couple of emails for work this evening, my youngest finally lost her first tooth. She’s half way to seven and this is the inaugural exit of any of her baby molars. It came out while brushing and she inadvertently washed it down the drain. I was disappointed, but she wasn’t. She just rolled with it. No tears. No lamenting that the tooth fairy would not visit. Nothing – but excitement and celebration over the new hole in her smile and how strange it felt.   Her expectations were not met, but it didn’t phase her one bit. Her perspective wasn’t on what she was missing (a visit from the tooth fairy or treats under her pillow tonight) but on that fact that her missing tooth meant she was missing a tooth.

It was as if again the Spirit was gently reminding me that as life goes on, there’s still plenty to take in and to celebrate even if it doesn’t look like I thought it would or should or could.

There may not be a lot out there right now that I can accurately predict about my life or the future, but I can fix my perspective on Him and rest in the predictability that only He provides.

As dawn breaks in the morning, He gently says again, “You can count on me. I am here. I was with you all night. My mercies are new this morning. I have created this day. Rejoice and be glad in it.” And He will say those things to me each and every morning if I will stop to listen to Him. He leaves me these little love notes around my comings and goings every day. They may not look the same or sound the same but He IS very predictably easily found when I have the perspective to look for Him.

Where are you finding Him lately? How are you finding Him to be predictable in all of life’s current ambiguity? What are you doing to fix your perspective on Him?

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